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How do I get my three year old to listen to me?

My son just turned three and will not listen to me when we are at home. At the store, at church, in the parking lot, he will usually listen to me and do what I ask. At home, he won't do a think I say! Mostly it's things like picking up toys, leaving things alone, stuff like that. He will do what my husband asks him to, even if it's over the phone! I'm getting really frustrated and don't know what to do. I've tried time out, taking away toys, sending him to bed early, and I don't know what else to do. Any suggestions?


Asked by montanagal2005 at 9:56 PM on Aug. 18, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • Most 3 year olds are able to understand a certain amount of reasoning (If you don't listen to Mommy, then you will have to sit in time out, get your toy taken away, etc...) As a stay-at-home mom of 2 under 3, I know that sometimes the same problem happening over and over can be frustrating and we need to step back and take a few deep breaths. Try getting down on his level (on your knee) when you are being serious with him. Tell him to look at you, make eye contact and let him know that you don't approve of his behavior or that you don't like it when he doesn't listen. Maybe try asking him why he feels he doesn't have to listen to you. (have a mini-conversation about his feelings on the matter) but make it very clear that you will not tolerate his behavior anymore.

    Answer by Kword at 10:02 PM on Aug. 18, 2010

  • Not listening comes w/ the age! We do 123 magic which is basically just 123 then time out w/ no explanation its very consistent and works well for my DD as she HATES time outs

    Answer by reagabismom at 10:35 AM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • We do the counting thing with time out, but he still won't listen. And he will listen to me outside of the house, or if my husband's home, so I know he can, but he won't when it's just me, him, and his younger brother at home.

    Comment by montanagal2005 (original poster) at 11:17 AM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • Be consistent! Use one technique and use it ALL the time, not just when his behavior is really bothering you.

    Answer by psugal at 11:50 AM on Aug. 19, 2010

  • I agree with the ' get down to their level'. My daughter listens soooo much better when I squat down, take her by the hand, and say "E, mommy told you to___, you need to do that right now or you will ___". And of course praise when he/she does as he/she was told to do, even if it was a minor thing. Also, I'm REALLY against using Dad as a scare tactic, or getting him to talk to the kids when they aren't listening to Mom. It makes you look weak, like dads word means something but moms doesn't.

    Answer by Gandeluv at 12:22 AM on Aug. 20, 2010